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ABC’s of Menopause: Headaches

Everything You Need to Know & How To Take Back Control.

Mia West
February 2, 2024
Medically-reviewed and fact checked by Ryan Lester, PA-C

Menopause is the “gift” that keeps on giving. With 34 associated symptoms that can easily be ascribed to a myriad of other health conditions, it can be impossible to know if what you’re experiencing is tied to menopause without a hormone test. Each week this series will break down symptoms to empower women to take back control of their health and enjoy some relief.

Research indicates that 10-29% of women entering menopause encounter issues with migraines and headaches. Notably, migraines disproportionately affect women, occurring three times more frequently than in men. This could be due in part to fluctuations in sex hormones (estrogen and progesterone) that begin in puberty before and during periods. These also happen to be the same hormones that undergo changes during menopause. 

Of course, headaches and migraines can arise for a number of other reasons, such as stress and muscle tightness. To help you discern if brain pain is indeed related to menopause, the following information identifies alternative triggers and indicators that warrant a visit to a healthcare professional.

What Causes Headaches for Menopausal Women?

The chief contributor to menopause-related headaches is the fluctuation in hormonal levels, specifically estrogen and progesterone. These hormonal swings can impact blood vessels and neurotransmitters in the brain, leading to headaches, especially if your period is unpredictable. Additionally, as estrogen, a key regulator of blood vessels, decreases during menopause, alterations in blood vessel function may contribute to the onset of headaches.

How Do I Know if My Headaches Are Menopause Related?

To determine if your headaches are linked to menopause, maintaining a headache diary is a valuable tool. Monitor the frequency, intensity, and duration of your headaches, and identify any patterns or correlations with other menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes or mood swings. If you notice a consistent relationship between your headaches and changes in your menstrual cycle, it's likely that hormonal fluctuations are playing a role.

What Else Causes Headaches?

Beyond hormonal factors, stress and anxiety are common triggers for tension headaches in menopausal women. Lifestyle factors such as poor sleep, dehydration, alcohol, caffeine, physical overexertion, and dietary choices can also contribute to headaches, along with deficiencies in magnesium and Vitamin D. Health issues like high blood pressure and certain medications play a role as well. 

What Are My Treatment Options?

There’s no need for despair; migraines can dissipate once you reach menopause and have your last period. In the meantime, there are options to help improve quality of life.

  • Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT): Bio identical hormones are a common and effective treatment for menopause-related symptoms, including headaches. It involves supplementing the body with hormones like estrogen and progesterone to alleviate symptoms caused by hormonal fluctuations.
  • Lifestyle Changes: Implementing healthy lifestyle habits can significantly reduce the frequency and intensity of menopause-related headaches. This includes regular exercise, a balanced diet, proper hydration, reducing alcohol and caffeine intake, and sufficient sleep. 
  • Stress Management: Adopting stress-reduction techniques, like meditation or yoga, can help alleviate these symptoms. 
  • Over-the-Counter Medications: Non-prescription pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, can provide temporary relief from headaches. However, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional before using any medication regularly.
  • Supplementation: Blood work can determine if you’re deficient in any essential vitamins. Some research supports vitamin B2, magnesium, vitamin D, coenzyme Q10, and melatonin as helpful tools in reducing frequency and intensity of migraines. 

When Should I See A Doctor?

If your headaches persist, worsen, or significantly impact your daily life, it's essential to seek medical advice. Additionally, if you experience other concerning symptoms alongside headaches, such as vision changes or neurological symptoms such as muscle weakness, consult a healthcare provider immediately.


Menopause-related headaches, while painful, can be a  menopause symptom that can be effectively managed through hormone optimization and prioritizing a healthy lifestyle. Consult with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance that will help mitigate menopause’s impact on your day to day life.


Join millions of men and women who are improving their health by ordering the Wellcore At-Home Assessment Kit today.

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About the Author

Mia West

A former journalist, Mia brings a high energy approach to communications rooted in insights, culture and brand DNA. She is driven by helping brands crystalize their story and foster meaningful, emotional connections with audiences. Over the years she has collaborated with prominent brands such as Petco, Keurig Dr Pepper, Jaguar Land Rover, Revlon, and Procter & Gamble Beauty, as well as many others in the retail, health & wellness, beauty, lifestyle, and sustainability realms. A California native, she lives in San Diego with her family at the beach.

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